Opening 3 Nov 2011
Phillippe Le Guay
Writing credits: Phillippe Le Guay, Jérôme Tonnerre
Principal actors: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas
This is a film set in the 1960s in Paris, where we see a stockbroker and his wife who are living in a huge apartment and are in need of a housekeeper. A group of Spanish maids living in the attic of this building give them the young and beautiful Maria (Natalia Verbeke), who just arrived from Spain and doesn’t have a clue how to clean a house. While the couple is away she calls on all her friends to help her get a handle on the work that is overwhelmingly too much.
Soon she has settled in and at the same time Monsieur Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) has taken a growing interest in her, her life, the group of maids and the Spanish culture. At the same time his wife (Sandrine Kikeltain) has become more frustrated than ever with his old behavior, to the point that she kicks him out, and he finds an empty room upstairs among his new Spanish friends. The film is a light-hearted comedy about midlife crisis as well as showing how immigrant workers migrate to another country in order to better their lives. Although I found this film very funny, the ending was so stereotypical that I was disappointed. It also showed at the Berlinale in the Competition Section and this film just didn’t compare with the other films in that category. I still have no idea why they showed this film except to have these famous French stars walk the red carpet. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)